Sunday, 13 March 2011

Fanatical loyalty should be a brands primary goal

In marketing 'brand loyalty' is often the given primary objective. That is because loyal consumers usually account for the lions share of revenue (check out the Paretto principle).

Wikipedia defines loyalty as: "faithfulness or a devotion to a person, country, group, or cause."

That is fine but it important to remember that there are different types of brand loyalty.

Seth has a good view on loyalty.

As I see it there are broadly three consumer types/behaviours:

Inertia loyalist who can't be bothered to change switch brands - banks benefit from this type of consumer. This applies to any low cost/interest/risk category, like FMCG staples (eg baked beans and pasta), because consumers often buy them on autopilot.

Transaction loyalists who stick to a brand because it is commercially beneficial to them, ie any brand that offers a 'loyalty card' or that gives away coupons/discounts/free stuff.

Fanatical loyalists who just really love a brand. This is the territory of Lovemarks (Loyalty beyond reason). This is the level of loyalty that brands should be striving for because consumers will buy again and again, even if there are better offers.

This is what the path to advocacy is all about. If you can deliver brand experiences that delight consumers they are likely to become fanatical loyalists who buy frequently and tell others about your brand.

It is worth getting it right because when you do you will gain competitive advantage and increased revenues.

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